When this title was first published in 1971, there were about 300, 000 people with epilepsy in England and Wales. Nearly one-third of them were children. This book is an integrated review of how epileptic children behaved, and of how they were regarded by parents, teachers and peers at the time. Written by a sociologist with a training in psychology, human biology and education, the book draws on several disciplines – sociology, psychology, biology – in seeking to understand the complex determinants of deviant behaviour in children with epilepsy.
The author considers in detail the lives of 118 epileptic children, bringing together and analysing a wide range of measurements of behaviour, social relations and abnormalities of brain function. He discusses how the children fare in school, and how epilepsy affects both the teacher’s perception of the child and the child’s scholastic performance. The dearth of medical centres which could diagnose and treat epilepsy at the time is examined, and hospital use according to parents’ social class is analysed. The author looks at the role of parents of epileptic children and shows that their attitude to epilepsy is of major importance for the child’s adjustment. The prejudice to which epileptic children and adolescents were subjected by the world at large is chronicled in detail.
Finally the author considers how his empirical material makes a contribution to the theoretical problem of integrating sociology, psychology and biology into a single discipline concerned with the explanation of human social behaviour.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Prof. A.A. Pond. Preface. Part 1: The Problem, the Sample and the Study 1. The Problem: A Sociological Perspective 2. The Sample and the Areas of Investigation Part 2: Studies of Epilepsy 3. Epilepsy: Definitions, Incidence, Causes and Treatment 4. The Electroencephalograph 5. Psychiatric Aspects of Epilepsy Since 1947 6. Epilepsy and Psychosis 7. Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Psychiatric Disorder 8. Epileptic Equivalents 9. Epilepsy and Crime 10. Drugs and Personality Disorder in Epileptic Children 11. Epilepsy, Brain Damage and the Hyperkinetic Syndrome in Children 12. Body Build and Personality Disorder in Epilepsy 13. The Social Environment of the Epileptic 14. The Problem of Prejudice against the Epileptic 15. The Study of Interaction Part 3: Results and Hypotheses 16. The Categorization of Behaviour 17. A Controlled Study 18. Epileptic Fits and Behaviour Disorder 19. Environmental Hazards and Behaviour Disorder 20. Brain Injury, the Evidence from the EEG and Behaviour Disorder in Epileptic Children 21. The Hyperactive Group 22. Parental Attitudes and Behaviour 23. The Epileptic Child and the School 24. The Integration of Medical, Social and Educational Agencies in the Treatment of the Epileptic Child 25. A Genetic Hypothesis 26. Residual Areas 27. An Interaction Hypothesis 28. A Parametric Study of the Data 29. Conclusion: The Integration of Sociology, Psychology and Biology. Bibliography. Index.